Tag Archives: love

That Film That Only You Care About

8 Apr

A film podcast I listen to put out a challenge: have them review a film they haven’t seen before. That’s kind of a problem since they’ve been doing a film review show for twenty years. But as I get older, I have to focus on films I love that people forgot they watched.

So many films that I love (that are relatively obscure) are only beloved in my memory because I watched them in that “magic time” of 12-16. By most objective views, they’re not great, but because I watched them at a time I was discovering films, I thought they were amazing! Big Trouble in Little China still tops the charts as one of my favorite films, but a lot of other people would argue that’s good as well, so let me get into REAL obscure-ville for films I like but no one else does:

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

The sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey that no one asked for. Monoliths around Jupiter. Giant Space Baby. Roy Scheider. This is a colossal hard sci-fi film that had one major flaw… it wasn’t Kubrick’s 2001. It made money, but no one ever bothered to film 2061: Odyssey Three. It was a film that was enjoyed, but forgotten. It was forgotten because one of the main plots was two warring powers–the US and the Soviet Union–had to came together in face of this alien event. Then the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the movie wasn’t relevant anymore. Neither was PanAm Airlines, so this film became very dated, very quick. Still love the story, the acting (Helen Mirram as the Russian pilot is awesome), and the effects, but no one remembers this film.

Freejack (1992)

I grew up loving cyberpunk, so this film really hits it hard for me, since there are very few films in this subgenre. Most people remember this film as “Oh, yeah–wasn’t that the one with Mick Jagger?” Yes, and he’s frickin’ phenomenal in it. This was near the end of Emilio Estavez’s success, so again, a lot of people saw this film… but few people remember it. The main flaw with this film is that they set it not far enough in the future (2009) for most of this stuff to happen, but it’s a wonderful cyberpunk romp with time travel instead of virtual hackers. Anthony Hopkins does a great job… for the limited amount of time he’s on screen, and Rene Russo is frickin’ hot, even if you have trouble believing that she’s 18 in the beginning of the film.

Predator 2 (1990)

This is cyberpunk light, so it still has a soft spot in my heart. Again, not far enough in the future–1997–but pretty believable like watching Demolition Man. This film gets forgotten because… well, it wasn’t Predator, but still has a lot of great acting (by the supporting cast), great action, and chasing the alien around LA is awesome. Danny Glover is… well, playing Danny Glover. Bill Paxton plays… well, Bill Paxton, and yes, he gets killed by the alien. But you had some great goofy bug hunt, and even if it’s not great, I still love this film.

So what films do you love that everyone else has forgotten about? Let me know in the comments below! And after you get tired of films, why not pick up one of my books. However, if $1.99 is too rich for your blood, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. Remember, Ripper, I wasn’t testing you… I was testing the machine. (And it works.) 🙂

Affirmation Rock

5 Oct

You want a catchy tune to rock out to. But you’re tired of writing about love – which is a problem, because that’s the subject of 75% of modern songs. So what subject do you write your lyrics to?

“Affirmation rock” is a term coined by comedian Adam Carolla, but rather rehash his rant on this subject, I’ve realized there’s actually several sub-genres of music subjects that fall under the “not love” category.

1 – Affirmation Rock

This term is used to indicate the music that is specifically designed to appeal to pre-teens who haven’t hit puberty, so talkin’ about love ain’t gonna fly. “I’m gonna rock hard / I’m gonna jump straight / nothin’ standing in my way!” Rhianna’s “Diamonds in the Sky” is the perfect example of this. “You’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky.” There might be more lyrics than this, but that’s really the whole song repeated ad infinitem.

2 – Nonsense Rock

I actually rather like this one. System of a Down does this for almost ALL their songs. For example, I love their song “Chop Suey,” which has the advantage of being one of those songs where the title has nothing to do with the song. But I rock out hard to the chorus:

Trust in my self-righteous suicide /
I cry when angels deserve to die.

It makes no freaking sense! Or the similar beginning to their other popular song, “Song 2:”

I got my head shaved by a jumbo jet /
It wasn’t easy / but nothing is. No.

3 – Liquor Rock

This is the subgenre usually used by country artists. Liquor, and especially beer, plays a big role in this type of music. As the old joke goes, “Alcohol – the cause of and the solution to all life’s problems.” For example, the classic Garth Brooks song is:

Well, I got friends in low places
Where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away
And I’ll be okay
Oh, I’m not big on social graces,
Better slip on down to the Oasis.
Oh, I’ve got friends in low places!

4 – God Rock

Now this is a bit of fudge because you can often use the same lyrics to a love song and make it about God. However, there is plenty of Contemporary Christian Rock (CCR) about moral issues that has nothing to do with love. And praise is a close cousin to love, but not in the same nuclear family. I say “god rock” rather than “Christian rock,” because other religions are doin’ it for their peeps as well. There are two great acapella bands in New York called the Maccabeats and 613 which do exclusively Jewish holiday songs, usually parodies of other popular songs. For example, check out this Hamilton parody set to Hanukkah:

5 – Depression Rock

Usually this is the domain of Country and Blues music, but it bleeds into other genres. I know Nickelback gets a lot of shade, but I love the song “Someday:”

Someday, somehow, gonna make all right but not right now
I know you’re wondering when.

SIDEBAR: I also like this because the first time heard it was in a strip club. I don’t even like strip clubs. Sure, I like naked women, but look not touch has limited appeal in a 24/7 porn available world. But what appealed to me was not the stripping, it was A) an unusual song to strip to and B) after the stripping, the woman carefully clutching her clothes and money to her chest, looking very vulnerable… that was FAR more sexy.

What sub-genres did I miss? Should I left out the story about Nickelback? Let me know in the comments section below!

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